28th July 2020

LMS Remote Seminar – Julien Vermot

‘Cellular and molecular control of cardiac development in response to mechanical forces’



Developing cardiovascular systems use mechanical forces at all organizational scales to shape tissue. Defects in these processes can cause catastrophic developmental abnormalities, in particular in the heart where blood flow is generating mechanical forces essential for cardiogenesis. How ubiquitous blood flow forces instruct local cardiac cell identity is still unclear. I will present our work using live imaging techniques, cell biology and genetic analysis to characterize the physical stimuli and the molecular mechanisms that specify cell responses to flow forces during cardiac valve formation. I will discuss our work manipulating mechanical forces in vivo, where we assessed the effects of ectopic shear stress during this process. I will also discuss our work showing how the zebrafish heart valves morph into leaflets from cellularized endocardial cushions via tissue sheet delamination. Overall, the presentation will provide an overview of the cellular signature underlying cardiac valve formation in vivo and will highlight the impact of mechanical forces during the process.